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West Highland Terrier - Hattie

Lindsey rang me regarding her 18 week old West Highland Terrier who firstly did not want to be groomed and secondly seemed to want to chase after cars when they passed in the street.

As Hattie was only an 18 week old puppy and often grooming can be a bit of a battle at that age and I assumed the wanting to chase after cars was just over exuberance on the puppy's part, I did not see this as being a big problem.

How wrong could I have been! The grooming was fairly easy to demonstrate the right and wrong ways to go about grooming your dog, but the car chasing was probably one of the worst cases of an over active chasing instinct that I have ever seen. And this includes all those Collie's that suddenly spring an attack on your car when you drive past that remote farm on Dartmoor.

The problem was that Hattie could hear those cars approaching long before you could even see them and it was as if "the mist came down" and she had a complete character change spinning and snapping and lunging on the lead. It was potentially a very dangerous situation, you only needed to trip or drop the lead and Hattie would have been under the car tyres. Something that doesn't bare thinking about.

Without causing any pain or discomfort to Hattie we had to stop this behaviour as soon as possible. I explained to Lindsey what drove this behaviour and we practised a technique, we made a great deal of progress that afternoon but I drove back to Exeter wondering if Lindsey would be able to continue the plan because it certainly wasn't easy.

So you can imagine how delighted I was when I received this email from Lindsey a few weeks later:

"Hattie is a pleasure to take for a walk now, no more aggressive lunging towards cars etc. Would certainly recommend Tricia to anyone who has a behavioural problem with their puppy or dog.
Thank you so much for your help with Hattie. "

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